CHICAGO
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Giannoulias Pulls Ahead Of Kirk In New Poll From Campaign

Democrat Alexi Giannoulias has pulled slightly ahead of Republican Mark Kirk in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup in the race for Illinois' soon-to-be-vacant U.S. Senate seat, according to a new poll.

A poll commissioned by the Giannoulias campaign shows the first-term state treasurer and Democratic frontrunner beating the North Shore congressman 46 percent to 43 percent based on a sample of 805 likely voters.

The same poll, conducted Oct. 25-28 by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, shows Democratic rival David Hoffman trailing Kirk 39 percent to 48 percent. The poll contains a 3.5-percentage-point margin of error.

Fellow Democrats Cheryle Robinson Jackson, the former president of the Chicago Urban League, and Jacob Meister, a Chicago attorney, were not included in the poll.

Giannoulias campaign spokeswoman Kati Phillips said Monday it left Jackson out because it already had information on her from a previous poll the campaign commissioned in late July. That poll showed Giannoulias getting 45 percent of the vote, compared with 7 percent for Jackson and 17 percent for Chris Kennedy, who never entered the race.

This was the first time the Giannoulias team had included Hoffman in a poll. The former Chicago inspector general and federal prosecutor entered the race in late August.

The Kirk campaign, however, conducted its own poll Oct. 12 which had their candidate leading Giannoulias by seven points.

A Rasmussen poll from two weeks ago had the two candidates in a dead heat.

Both Giannoulias and Hoffman have had White House meetings with President Obama's senior advisor, David Axelrod, about the race for the president's former seat.

The Obama Administration has said it will not endorse a candidate after it failed to persuade Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to enter the race.